Mr. Hale to Mr. Seward.

No. 132.]

Sir: In my dispatch No. 128, dated April 18, 1868, I informed you that Mr. Arrazola, the minister of state, expressed a desire that I should make a communication to him in writing of the statement which I then made verbally, and that I promised I would do so. Accordingly on the same day, viz, April 18, I complied with my promise, and on the 13th of May I received an answer from the new minister of state, of which I herewith inclose a copy and a translation of the same.

Perhaps the delay occasioned between the date and the delivery may be explained by the fact that in the mean time there has been a change of ministry occasioned by the death of the Duke of Valencia, and further, immediately after, the festivities of the court, occasioned by the marriage of the eldest daughter of the Queen with a younger brother of the ex-King of Naples.

I remain yours, with all due respect,


Señor Roncali to Mr. Hale.

My Dear Sir: I have had the honor of receiving the note of your excellency of the date of the 18th of the last month, in which, in conformity to the instructions of Mr. Seward, your excellency is pleased to express the desire that, by means of a formal armistice, there should be terminated all the inconveniences which the passive state [Page 8]of war, at present existing between Spain and the allied republics of the Pacific, occasions to the United States; and for that purpose proposes that there he adopted a resolution to that effect, and that afterwards there be in Washington a conference of pleni-potentiaries of the interested powers for the definitive arrangement of a peace.

The government of her Majesty receives with favor the suggestion of Mr. Seward on this subject, and as your excellency very well knows the continuance of this war has not been owing to them, and satisfied that the benefits of peace now more than ever necessary to the welfare of the civilized world, is pleased to do what it can to carry into effect the realization of the propositions of the cabinet of Washington, putting an end to the inconveniences which the present state of things occasions to neutral powers.

In consequence, the Spanish government, seconding with its accustomed deference the views of the United States on this subject, are disposed to make a formal declaration of an armistice as soon as the other powers interested agree thereto, and at the same time is ready to nominate a representative to the conference at Washington who shall have power to treat of the terms of a definitive treaty of peace.

Upon this last subject, however, I ought to inform your excellency, to the end that you may communicate the same to the government of the United States, that the government of her Majesty must insist that there be fixed, in the first place, a point of time from which the matters to be discussed in the conference shall commence, and that on no pretense shall there be submitted to the conference anything heretofore arranged by international agreement.

Your excellency will observe the good and sincere desire which has always animated Spain, in favor of a peace honorable for all the nations engaged in this war of the Pacific, and the government of her Majesty hopes that the cabinet of Washington will appreciate this new proof of the sentiments of loyalty and justice which inspires its conduct, as her Majesty’s government appreciates the friendly action of the United States.

I improve this opportunity for reiterating to your excellency the assurances of my most distinguished consideration.


The Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States.

  1. Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.